I’ve just returned from an incredible and somewhat surreal trip. When I lived in Dubai many years ago (writing about my travels and food – rather than actually making food) I used to spend a lot of time in bookstores, skimming magazines and browsing books. I would never have imagined that I’d be invited to Dubai someday soon to speak at a book fair and do a book launch and signing at the biggest bookstore in the city, Kinokuniya (let alone write a cookbook)! Embrace surprises, I say! Walking in and seeing a poster of me and my book Saffron Soul in the entrance – I might not be dancing in the pic below, but I was definitely doing a little pinch–me-is-this-real dance inside!
Anyway, the purpose of this post is to write about the new cafes that I visited and what I ate. I was so excited by all the new healthy hotspots – I used to crave food and places like this when I lived in Dubai. So here’s just a few:
I stumbled into this cafe on my way to get my nails done in Jumeirah and had the most delicious ramen soup there. I also ordered the tofu steak on the side, and then plonked it into the soup – just the perfect thing to eat when I felt a little run down and fluey (I actually ended up getting ill the day I reached Dubai which forced me to relax). Quite a quiet chilled out atmosphere, but maybe that’s because it was midday.
I loved this place, loved the decor and ethos! It’s located in a new artsy area called Al Serkal (lots of cool galleries and boutiques) and is a wonderfully atmospheric place to sit with the most delicious vegan food, cold pressed juices and happy smoothies. My friend and I both had delicious salads and my smoothie was on point!
This was a gorgeous surprise – a restaurant located at Al Naseem (the newest Jumeirah hotel), super plush yet you can just sit alone, have some food or a coffee (which is what I did!) Filled with calming pink and white pastels, light spread across the ceiling like artwork and a splash of bright cushions, there is an all-pervading sense of flamingo pizzazz about it. I had a kale salad with quinoa and halloumi which was much more tasty and filling than it sounds – I loved it!
I happened to be in Mall of the Emirates for a meeting on my last day in Dubai and googled healthy cafes – Common Grounds did not disappoint! If this existed a few years ago, I would have come here every time I came to the mall. My breakfast chia bowl (well the chia pudding is hidden inside a pool of saffron mango lassi, topped with granola bits and berries) was delicious but not exactly filling. I would have loved to order more but was in a slight rush. A buzzing spacious cafe – definitely a place to sit (if in the mall).
Other places I like:
Comptoir 102 Jumeirah 1
a chic boutique and cafe, with plant based food (limited menu but food was good) and lovely place to sit!
Life n One, Jumeirah 1
love this space and the cafe looks wonderful but I got there just after the cafe closed. Serene garden where you can sit and eat, and they have wellness and yoga classes
Arabica coffee – great coffee and they have a few branches